Researchers in Copenhagen have created a market-ready anti-pollution filter designed to quickly remove nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter from inside vehicles. Jim Drury reports.
You might think sitting in your car with your windows closed keeps you safe from air pollution. The makers of a new pollution-busting filter say you'd be wrong. SOUNDBITE (English) MATTHEW JOHNSON, PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, SAYING: "When you're in your car you're directly in the lanes of traffic and you're actually taking air into the car. That's coming from the exhaust of the cars in front of you. This means that there are greatly elevated levels of air pollution inside of a vehicle. This is both for nitrogen dioxide and for particulate matter." Toxic air pollution passes through air inlets inside cars. Emissions from diesel vehicles are worst. The team from University of Copenhagen and start-up Airlabs has created Airbubbl, which contains two filters. SOUNDBITE (English) MATTHEW JOHNSON, PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, SAYING: "We have a chemical filter that's removing nitrogen dioxide and ozone and odour from the air stream. We also have a high performance particle filter that's removing soot and road dust and brake dust and these other components. We combine that inside this case. This plugs into the cigarette lighter. We have some quiet fans at the two ends of the device and we've used computational fluid dynamics in order to direct the airflow towards the passengers." Independent tests in London saw nitrogen dioxide concentrations inside cars fall by 95 percent in 10 minutes. The Airbubbl is lightweight and easily attachable. A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to market the device.